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New post from the Relevant Blog re: political ads, attention, and algorithmic manipulation 🚨 "The problem isn't just advertising, it's the attention economy. When platforms like Twitter and Facebook use engagement-based algorithms, there's no such thing as "free and fair" civil discourse on their networks — even without targeted political ads."
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I hate my solipsistic bubble enough as it is, personalisation and customisation definitely do not sweeten the deal
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This reminds me of recent discussions on crypto twitter about the place of "human" intervention in blockchains (https://twitter.com/SylTilt/status/1190987896452472832). There are lots of hardliners who view any attempt to create a policy or norm for manual state changes as bringing coercion and authoritarianism into a system that should be, by definition, free of those two things. I think this article is a great example of why others feel that an algorithm reigning autonomously might be just as oppressive, even if it is fair. Twitter's algorithm is sort of like a monocrop -- even if it works well for lots of things, its "mono-ness" gives it dangerous blind spots (i.e. fragility). Local food systems are usually offered as an alternative to industrial monocrops, and compartmentalized social networks like reddit, Facebook groups, and now Relevant, sort of argue the same point: break the network into parts that develop different "local" cultures, and let those different cultures shape the algorithm in their areas of the network. Taking away global rules about maximizing engagement helps push the network in local directions. Maybe we'll see the blockchain world head this way eventually (sharding hints at the possibility): for now, blockchain advocates seem pretty wedded to a single, global state monopolized by a single consensus mechanism.
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There is definitely new a trend towards ‘local’ blockchains that can be interconnected. It’s Sort of like sharding but even Les dependent on having a single network. Cosmos ( https://cosmos.network ) is a good example.
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Yup. Holochain another interesting example, imo.
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"What does it mean to earn attention on social networks?"
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how do we safeguard against the infamous reddit circlejerk tho
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Do u mean insular communities where everyone thinks the same?
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lol yes, pack bonding via downvoting dissent en masse being a critical element of the circlejerk :')
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That's definitely an issue. One thing we do on Relevant is that we weight the the votes by the user's Reputation score. So if 100 users with low reputations scores pile on the downvote, one user with high reputation can cancel that out with a single upvote. This puts a damper on mob mentality. Another thing we are working on is being able to see comments about same article from different communities. So if Libertarians Unite and Abolish Capitalism communities are discussing the same article, they can see one another's comments (but cannot impact rankings in the foreign community). Other than that, it takes a human touch, clear code of conduct (working on this) and being able to distribute moderation responsibilities among many users vs just a few mods (reputation system enables this as well). Btw, this really good article about Hacker News moderators: https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-silicon-valley/the-lonely-work-of-moderating-hacker-news